Tower Darkens for UT Remembers

To highlight the campus commitment to energy conservation, The University of Texas’ iconic Tower will be dark from dusk to dawn on April 18.

Since 2011, the UT Tower has gone dark on various occasions to celebrate Earth Day, sustainability and conservation.  Tonight’s Dark Tower is part of UT’s Earth Month celebrations and is sponsored by  Longhorn Lights Out (LLO), a student organization.

“By turning the lights off in the Tower, we are visibly engaging the campus to commit to resource conservation,” says Jim Walker, Director of Sustainability. “Dark Tower demonstrates UT’s support for energy conservation and awareness.”

LLO has been conserving energy and increasing awareness about energy usage on campus since April 2013. Initially sponsored by the Energy and Water Conservation Program, the group now has a home with the Office of Sustainability and is currently funded through a Green Fee grant.

LLO saves energy by following this tactic: on the last Friday of every month, volunteers are sent out to up to 164 buildings on campus to turn off extra lights, computer monitors and extra equipment. To date, LLO has saved about 173,400 KWh over five years. That’s enough electricity to power a Texas home for 12 years! Additionally, LLO supports and coordinates the individual energy conservation efforts of staff and faculty.

“By volunteering with or supporting LLO, you get to save energy, meet new people and help the environment,” says Jennifer Southerland, a history major and currently the vice president of LLO.